By Gerard O’Sullivan
Now that you’ve finished your degree, it’s time to get started on your career. You may be able to find a job directly after graduation or it may take some time before you find employment that’s right for you (and your education). For those who are struggling to find something, there are endless ways to find employment.
Networking for The Hidden Job Market
Only 20% of all jobs are advertised. To access the other 80%, you’ll need connections. Networking is a good way to tap into the Hidden Job Market and it can be a lot easier than you think. Sometimes networking is as simple as introducing yourself and having a conversation. Reaching out can be as easy as exchanging business or networking cards, or connecting on LinkedIn. By using your network, you may find an “in” for many positions that you might’ve never seen otherwise.
A work or co-op term can be a great way to get your foot in the door before you’ve even graduated. The connections you make during this time could lead to a full-time job or could help you navigate your way into a different position with an entirely different employer.
Although not every program has the option of a co-op term or internship, there are other ways to grow your network. A mixer with your university classmates or a Meet & Greet with alumni can introduce you to new people and help make connections with alumni in your field.
Being a great networker can take some time and know-how to get it right so taking a course or workshop to hone your skills is definitely worth the effort. Around your city, like here in the Halifax area, there could be government-funded employment service centres that offer workshops to assist with every aspect of the job search process. The Hidden Job Market workshop at Job Junction has been influential in improving networking skills and has a 92.6% positive evaluation rate.
While it may seem obvious, career services are frequently overlooked and underused. Many universities and colleges have career departments to help you find the job that’s right for you. These departments are there to offer guidance on what your next steps should be, as well as provide job boards for their students and alumni to find gainful employment after graduation
Networking can help you find work but making those connections doesn’t always have to feel like work.
Gerard O’Sullivan is wrapping up a 4-month contract as Marketing Specialist for People Plus Consulting ltd. and is a student at Dalhousie University https://www.linkedin.com/in/gerardosul